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BA Thesis


Admission requirements

Successful completion of the second year of the BA South and Southeast Asian Studies programme.


Students themselves choose a supervisor for their BA dissertation from among the lecturers involved in the SSE Asian Studies programme. They do this in consultation with the coordinator of the third year, second semester seminar course ‘Heritage/Futures of South and Southeast Asia’, which forms part of the framework in which the dissertation is prepared. A general introduction to the dissertation writing process is given in association with the Heritage/Futures seminar close to the beginning of that course, and the choice of supervisor should have been made by the end of the third week of the second semester. Later in the course, students give work-in-progress presentations on their dissertations. During these presentations they obtain critical feedback from other students, from the seminar coordinator, and from any other contributing lecturer.
Dissertations will in principle be written in Dutch (2014-2015, in English in 2015-2016). Permission to write in a different language may be granted by the Examinations Committee. Any application for such permission must be submitted at the same time as the supervisor is selected, and must take into account the necessity of finding a second reader (see below) who is also able to understand the language in question.
The main text of the dissertation should be approximately 8,500 words in length. The maximum length including notes, bibliography, and any appendices, is 10,000 words. Wherever possible, a reasonable quantity of source materials in Indonesian, Hindi, Sanskrit or Tibetan should be used in researching and writing the dissertation.

Course objectives

Elementary research skills, including heuristic skills

  1. collect and select specialised literature using traditional and electronic methods and techniques;
    1. analyse and evaluate this in terms of quality and reliability;
    2. formulate a well-defined research problem based on this;
    3. set up, under supervision, a study of a limited size taking into consideration the traditional and electronic methods and techniques relevant for the discipline;
    4. formulate a reasoned conclusion on the basis of this;
    5. also make use of the acquired research skills outside the student’s own discipline.

Written presentation skills

  1. explain research findings in a clear and well-argued way;
    1. formulate an answer to questions concerning the discipline or a topic within it
  • in the form of a clear and well-structured written presentation

  • in accordance with the criteria set by the discipline

  • using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques

  • aimed at a specific target group.

The BA-thesis will be, amongst other elements, assessed on the following elements:

  • Knowledge and insight (contents, relation to the field)

  • Application knowledge and insight (methodology)

  • Reaching conclusions (interpretation, argumentation, conclusion)

  • Communication (writing skills, structure)

  • Learning skills (process)

Mode of instruction

Self-study under the guidance of a supervisor. Student and supervisor have at least four meetings during the writing process. A form to set these meetings can be found on the website of the programme under the item forms.


To graduate on August 31, the student needs to hand a first complete version of the BA-thesis on June 1, at the latest (see form regarding appointments), to his supervisor. The final version needs to be in on July 1, at the latest.
Regulations and procedures concerning the bacherlor’s thesis.

Blackboard / webpage



No registration in uSis required for the Bachelor’s thesis.


Individual supervisor.